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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

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11.21.02, thursday morning

Flocks of pigeons, terrorizing the sky with their grey sharp-beaked bodies, riled by the sound of helicopters, which I will later spy painted on the side of a building - soon-to-be lofts for people who can afford it - on 18th and Mission. A dead sparrow outside of Victor's in East Oakland, looking as if someone had deliberately stepped on it, its torso crushed flat.

The Heron tells me that it's a bad omen, to see a dead bird. Later that night, we have a minor spat; his back turns away, hiding his face from mine. The next night we will startle a heron in Chinatown; far from his lake, it leaps outta trash-can, where it has been dumpster-diving for day-old edibles - buns, dim sum from the bottom of the pot, the fried dough that shaven-pated old women dip into cupsa coffee. Watching us warily, the beast flaps its wings, as if to launch itself into flight at the least provocation, and there is the question palpable between us: what sort of luck comes from spying a bird outta its usual realm?




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